Last Friday, Team Hill held a farewell ceremony at the Junior Enlisted Center for its command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Candler, who will begin the new year at Royal Air Force Alconbury, England.
Candler arrived at Hill Air Force Base in May of 2008 to serve as the command chief for the Ogden Air Logistics Center and the 75th Air Base Wing, bringing his enthusiasm and pride in serving the U.S. Air Force into his daily duties as the commanders' representative.
"No matter where I went those first few months, I met nothing but professionals that made me proud to serve along side them," Candler recalled from that time. "And it is no different today ... Hill Air Force Base is filled with butt-kickers that make me thankful to be a part of their team.
"The community partners have been terrific, as they have always extended their arms out and been great supporters of our base and Airmen. I can't think of a better place to be."
Candler considers among his most memorable moments here the dedication of the memorial for Hill's fallen Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians and Office of Special Investigations agents, the mass funeral held for a member of the 75th Logistics Readiness Squadron, and the many homecomings of Hill's deployed Airmen.
However, most memorable for Candler is "meeting (our Airmen), getting to know them and their many family members and being inspired every day by what they do for their nation while sacrificing so much. That's what will stick with me forever."
Assuming Candler's position will be Chief Master Sgt. David Nordel, who is currently serving as the command chief of the 92nd Air Refueling Wing at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash.
Although Candler's next position will not be that of a command chief, he says his duties will remain the same as prescribed in most Air Force doctrines for leadership: "Lead; be ready to deploy and serve my nation when asked, no matter the location; take care of Airmen and their families and serve with character, integrity, selflessness and excellence."
"The great thing from my perspective is I'll be doing this closer to the Airmen on a daily basis," he added.
In his absence, Candler would like to see several programs flourish for Hill's Airmen to benefit more than they do currently. Among those programs includes the "continued progression of the Exercise Program coupled with enhanced proficiency of battlefield skills," he said, adding "the standardization of a solid sponsorship program to ensure our Airmen and their families are better taken care of. The expansion of use at the Junior Enlisted Center; more effective training for civilians who supervise military members; and an organized drop-off point for the Airman's Attic, are just a few things I hope are moved forward."
In parting, Candler advised Hill's Airmen to "never forget what you're about ... the defense of this great nation. That is a sobering responsibility if you really think about it. It could be your mother, father, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, son, daughter or friend, but somebody close to you expects you to serve with integrity, excellence and selflessness so they are free. They count on you every day ... don't let them down. Airpower!"